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  • Writer's pictureMindy McCarthy

Embrace the suck, but don't get stuck in the suck

During these uncertain Covid-19 times, Dr. Cindra Kampoff hosted a free High Performance Mindset Summit where she interviewed various peak performance professionals about how they are staying mentally healthy right now (you can check that out here:

One of the guests she had on this summit was Nicole Detling who is the founder of HeadStrong Consulting. Nicole said something that really stood out to me:

“Embrace the suck, but don’t get stuck in the suck.”

When we have so many things going on around us, especially when they are things that feel out of our control, it can be easy to fall into a negative spiral where it is hard to see a “light at the end of the tunnel.”

This is where her phrase can be helpful.

When you feel that things are simply “sucking” right now, give yourself some grace when you embrace the suck. Allow yourself to feel sad or angry about what is happening. For example, when your sport season gets cancelled, allow yourself to be upset about that. Process your emotions and address how you are feeling and how you are responding to these situations.

It is important to reflect on how you are feeling, especially when it comes to stressful situations that may cause more problems for your body than you realize.

Once you have addressed how you are feeling and allowed yourself some grace to feel these emotions, remember to not get stuck in the suck.

One thing that has helped me is to use the 24 hour rule. Allow yourself to feel these emotions for 24 hours. Then, it is time to “pull yourself up from your bootstraps.”

Now that you know how you are feeling, how are you going to appropriately cope with those emotions? Are you going to use some stress management techniques like mindfulness, walking, doing a puzzle? Are you going to find things that make you happy again, especially when you are feeling sad about something?

What are some things that you can use to help you not get stuck in the suck?

During this time where you may not be able to train or compete like you had originally thought, think about the ares that you can still work on yourself. Developing your mental skills is a great option to use while you are not able to practice as before. Focus on some individual skills that you can enhance. For example, if you are playing basketball, find some good dribbling drills that you can do to enhance something that you are hoping to strengthen. If you play on a team, find ways to connect with your team through quarantine and learn more about each other off the court or field. This will only enhance your cohesion once you are able to compete together again.

Focus on the things that you can control rather than embracing the suck of the things that you cannot control.

Embrace the suck, but don’t get stuck in the suck.

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